Article ID: CBB000774852

Gudmundur Finnbogason, “Sympathetic Understanding,” and Early Icelandic Psychology (2008)

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Gudmundur Finnbogason (1873-1944) was a pioneer of Icelandic psychology. He was educated at the University of Copenhagen where he finished his M.A. in 1901 in philosophy, specializing in psychology. During the years 1901-1905, Finnbogason played a major role in establishing and shaping the future of primary education in Iceland. He defended his doctoral thesis on "sympathetic understanding" at the University of Copenhagen in 1911. This work deals with the psychology of imitation. In it Finnbogason defends the view that imitation is basically perception so that there is a direct link from perception to motor behavior. Through imitation people tend to assume the countenance and demeanor of other people, thus showing, in Finnbogason's terminology, "sympathetic understanding." Finnbogason's theory of imitation in many respects anticipates contemporary approaches to the psychology of imitation. In 1918 Finnbogason became professor of applied psychology at the recently founded University of Iceland. Here he attempted to establish psychology as an independent discipline. In this he was unsuccessful; his chair was abolished in 1924. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)

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Authors & Contributors
Gudmundsson, O.
Borck, Cornelius
Erlingsson, Steindór J.
Martensen, Robert Lawrence
Winter, Alison
Rousseau, George S.
Journals
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
History of Psychiatry
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Journal of the History of Biology
History of Psychology
Technology and Culture
Publishers
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Merve-Verl.
Free Scholars Press
Harvard University
Concepts
Physiological psychology
Psychology
Psychiatry
Motion pictures; cinema; movies
Measuring instruments
Emotions; passions
People
Bain, Alexander
Atwater, Wilbur Olin
Kraepelin, Emil
Berger, Hans
Thoroddsen, Thorvaldur
Ferrier, David
Places
Iceland
France
Germany
Americas
Greece
Times
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
20th century, late
20th century
Institutions
Université de Paris
Laboratoire de Psychologie Physiologique de la Sorbonne
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